The recent rains that caused floods in parts of northern Mindanao brought many Filipinos together in solidarity to help those affected by the calamity.
It also left me concerned that we must all prepare for future events like this, as I believe there will be more weather-related and seismic events that will result in major disruptions to our lives and livelihoods.
I recall the successive earthquakes that rocked Mindanao in the last quarter of 2019. There had also been several typhoons and extreme rainfall events that have caused major disruptions on top of the pandemic. Remember the Taal eruptions in early 2020? What about the escalation of the swine flu outbreak? Typhoon Ulysses in Luzon in late 2020 and Typhoon Odette in the last month of 2021 hit parts of Mindanao, and the 2022 floods in other parts of central Mindanao? We must never forget the courage of the people who helped, and the lessons those events left us as we look toward 2023.
We should not be complacent in the face of these disruptions. Government has its contingencies in place through the national and local disaster risk and management offices mandated by R A 10121.
Businesses in the private sector can plan by putting in place business continuity plans (BCPs) and setting up disaster preparedness units led by its safety and health officers and selected employees. The same plan can be done for schools and other institutions that have to operate as soon as possible after the disruption.
This team can take care of assessing damage to structures and putting quick measures to ensure the fastest possible safe restart of business operations. This unit can also send the necessary messages to employees to help their families plan for disaster-related events. The same team can take care of developing specific health related and wellness measures, enforcing protocols and encouraging healthy behavior that will bolster the prevention of disease.
Having deliberate programs such as these in place to help cope with natural disasters at the enterprise and household levels will help us prepare for future events and minimize possible losses that can hurt overall business recovery efforts. Getting these vital institutions back on track is crucial to overall recovery of the community. Faster recovery makes us resilient.
Davao's nights of music
Last Dec. 22 we were treated to a great Christmas concert by the UP Mindanao Foundation and the UP Administration when the 65-member UP Symphony along with UP Mindanao’s Koro Kantahanay and Davaoeno soprano Anya Evangelista and tenor Malvin Macasaet performed for a night at the University of Southern Eastern Philippines gym in Davao City. May this be the start of an annual musical tradition and support for the UP Mindanao foundation’s scholarship programs.
The next performance will be a solo concert at the Bapa Benny Tudtud Auditorium at the Ateneo de Davao by soloist Kevin Mikhail Gomez on Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. He will be performing with artists Daphne Cabaguio Jocson and Jose Mari de la Pena on the piano. I look forward to their renditions of various composers such as Abelardo and Faure, Handel and Schubert, among others.
Music and the arts nourish the soul. As we face this brave new world, let’s fill our hearts with a daily dose of music to smooth the day’s rough edges and calm the nerves. May you all have a music filled and inspired 2023!